Eastern Cape women finalists feature strongly in entrepreneur competition Eastern Cape women finalists feature strongly in entrepreneur competition
Eastern Cape business women are holding their own in male dominated sectors such as construction, information and communications technology and the green industries, says... Eastern Cape women finalists feature strongly in entrepreneur competition

Eastern Cape business women are holding their own in male dominated sectors such as construction, information and communications technology and the green industries, says SMME Business LaunchPad Competition on the announcement of the province’s finalists.

Nationally, women are proving to be enterprising people making up 70 percent of informal sector entrepreneurs.

Sixteen of the 40 finalists in the SMME Business Launchpad Competition, which is operated Traction and supported by Enablis and Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), are female.

Judging will be done according in the following sectors: Agriculture, Information Technology Media and Marketing, Creative, Culture & Crafts, Construction, Manufacturing, Green Industries, Transport & Logistics and Business & Personal Services.

Selection takes place on 8/9 September 2010These are just some of the female finalists who will be hoping that their business concepts are selected when the judging panels meet in East London on 8 and 9 September. The competition aims to select 10 top business plans from entrants with business ideas or established businesses from forty finalists in the selection stage.

Deidre Nxumalo-Freeman (East London)is the founder of DNS Waste and Environmental Services, a company started in 2008 to meet demand from a growing client based in both the private and the public sector. Her previous work experience spans various industries in organisations such as Amatola Water, Daimler Chrysler and Arcus Gibb among others. Deidre is a Rhodes University Bachelor of Science graduate.

Brenda Pierpoint (Port Elizabeth) and Sharon Maraisare the co-founders of Brendiwe Landscaping Trust in which they are both beneficiaries in 2007. The women say a customer centred approach and a passion for their work is the key to a flourishing business. They advise prospective entrepreneurs to ensure they have financial backing before starting out, treat staff with respect and train them well and set a high standard.

Lindiwe Hlekani (East London) founded Lindiwe Hlekani Construction which tackles civil engineering works in 2006. The 25 year old joined a Buffalo City Municipality and Extended Public Works Programme construction learnership after completing her tertiary education in Electrical Engineering and has never looked back.

Nontando Gaba (Queenstown) started Mazima Consulting aiming to help disadvantaged matriculants in rural areas gain access to employment where limited access to media and technology is often a barrier. Gaba trains young unemployed people in a bid to equip them with the necessary know-how to tackle the business environment with professionalism. She holds a Human Resources Diploma from UNISA and says her passion for HR drove her to start her business.

Amelia van der Heever (East London) has recently started Imbayeti Flags and Banners after seeing a big demand for promotional material while she was working for another company. She identified the need while working for a similar company and seeing the high volume of work that her previous employer often turned away. Van Heever would like to grow from inception to a fledging service provider.

Nobaxolisi Cutu (Johhanesburg)is a founder of Prescribed Music which records and distributes choral music from schools and institutions in the Eastern Cape. The business also produces teaching aid CDs for use by schools in teaching prescribed opera, choir and classical music. The business is in the inception stages and Nobaxolisi’s goal is to expand her concept beyond the Eastern Cape.

Asanda Futshane (East London)started bead work business YivaOkuhle Creations in 2007 on a small scale combining her creative flair with her interest in cultural regalia. Asanda crafts fashion accessories and corporate gifts using beads at her home office.

The business is growing from strength to strength and Asanda has exhibited her wares in a number of trade shows and exhibitions. YivaOkuhle was the chosen to style contestants for the locally popular Miss UWFM in 2008.

Singiswa Dikweni’s (Mthatha) Out of the Blue Hospitality supplies B&B and guesthouse establishments with toiletries, linen, beverages and cleaning chemicals. The business is based in Mthatha but has a client base throughout the Wild Coast. Singiswa has previous business experience in catering and decided to focus in the current product supplier in 2007. She now has four employees.

Bulelwa Ngumbela (East London)says challenges in finding reliable help prompted her to start a domestic worker and butler service agency. The concept is to be the go to station for well trained, reference checked butlers and domestic workers. Bulelwa says finding the right person becomes a safety issue as far as domestics who look after your children. It is thus imperative to find someone who is reference checked.

Lucille Ferreira (Cradock)has experience spanning 12 years in the spa & wellness industry and is the owner manager of three salons. She is a full time therapist at Karoo Comfort Zone in Cradock and often travels out of town to perform bridal make up. She is passionate about developing and improving people inside and out. The Wellness Training Academy is a vision she has nurtured for a very long time and is excited about the future developments especially CSI initiative African Angels Project, which has trained 10 disadvantaged women in relaxation therapy and helping them find employment on an ad hoc basis.

Amanda Matshaya (East London)is the managing director and founder of Rzalutionary Concepts, a 100% female black owned broad based black economic empowerment Production Company. Amanda has experience in television industry and says Rzalutionary Concepts   born out of a passion for the industry. The enterprise is home to concept developers and researchers who specialise in television, video and multimedia services.

Nobubele Vuba (East London)started Information and Communication Technology enterprise, Idea Technologies in 2007. The company provides infrastructure connectivity, application integration, consulting Services, managed services as well as maintenance and support among its services. Nobubele holds a B. Comm. (Economics) Hons degree and is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). She has work experience at the University of Fort Hare, Australia based company Unihold, Microsoft, Dimension Data, Mars Technologies and the Office of the Premier.

Nosipho Mdingi (Butterworth) started selling fruit and vegetables in East London and now operates her vending business from Butterworth. Nosipho says the secret to her success in competing with supermarket chains is to think big and buy stock in large quantities to make bigger profits. In more than a decade the business which started small has enjoyed a steady growth and Nosipho says she would like to expand in a formal environment.

Anique Ravat (Uitenhage)startedTechnical Information Consultants in 2005 after identifying the need to upgrade software and repair computers at government departments. The company has now extended its service offering to installing Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and computer training. It is co-owned by four people and has a full time staff complement of six.

Silette de Bod (Port Elizabeth)– is owner Skin-on-Main beauty salon in Port Elizabeth.

Valerie Barbour’s (East London) Minuteman Press is a design and print operation which is based in East London.

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